INITIAL PRAYER: THE LAST MEN IN EUROPE
CD: Corrosive Growth Industries cgicd-021 [2005]


White Waters
All Hope Fails
In Defence
Turn To Light
We Serve
Prelude
Beyond Good And Evil
Fourth Law
The Longest Journey

Although the debut album from initial prayer, it seems that the group were formed way back in the early 1983 from the remnants of other defunct punk and industrial groups. Thus obviously with such roots and linage the material might be expected to an old school industrial sound, however this is not entirely the case. What is presented is a slightly twisted neo-classical framework is augmented with distorted guitars to give an industrial edge.

The slow distorted guitars and heavy synth textures of ‘White water’ introduces the album with a doom laden aura, setting the tone appropriately, while ‘All hope fails’ follows as a plodding neo-classical track. From here though the pace is shifted to a programmed industrial band style, with ‘In defence’ conforming to such a sound, complete with chugging guitar riffs. Its ok for what it is, but as such music has never struck a positive chord with me, it comes off as rather generic. ‘Turn to light’ ups the ante with an ominous and militant track of heavy synth textures and heavy rolling war drums, which works extremely well, however this is unfortunately followed by another low point ‘we serve’, that consists of a rather cheesy neo-classical melody, plodding programming, heavy industrial guitars & shouted/ spoken vocals. ‘Beyond good and evil’ is partially redeeming, with unobtrusive programming, orchestral melodies & spoken vocals, whilst ‘Forth law’ is an understated meandering piano piece which sets a reflective tone. Final track ‘The longest journey’ might be a little heavy handed with its programming, but thankfully manages to haul in a decent orchestral melody to conclude the album with flair.

In terms of the recording, the production sound is clean and professional (courtesy of Sion Orgon and Thighpaulsandra) and showcases both skill a wide variety of influences for the projects members. But for my two cents, "The last men in europe" would have been a much stronger release if it were not for the generic industrial band elements.

RJS

[Corrosive Growth Industries]

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